Louisiana becomes the first state to criminalize abortion pills without a prescription

Louisiana became the first state on Friday to criminalize abortion pills without a valid prescription, when the state's Republican governor signed an agreement controversial bill declare two abortion drugs controlled substances.

The legislation makes it illegal to obtain mifepristone and misoprostol, two medications used to induce a medical abortion, without a prescription.

Governor Jeff Landry called Friday's signing of the bill “common sense” post on social media platform X.

Requiring a prescription for an abortion-inducing drug and criminalizing the use of an abortion drug on an unsuspecting mother is nothing short of common sense.se,” Landry wrote. “This bill protects women across Louisiana and I was proud to sign this bill into law today.

This unprecedented move makes Louisiana the first state to designate abortion medications as controlled substances, adding them to Louisiana's Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law. The legislation, which takes effect Oct. 1, stipulates that the two abortion drugs can only be legally obtained in the state through specially licensed doctors.

Those found in possession of the drugs without a prescription can now face up to five years in prison. However, some legal protections exist for pregnant women who possess the drugs for their own use, The Associated Press notes.

Previously, Louisiana required prescriptions for mifepristone and misoprostol, but possession of the drugs without a prescription was not criminalized. The Louisiana House voted to change that earlier this week, with 64 votes in favor and 29 votes against. The state's Senate also voted 29-7 in favor of advancing the legislation on Thursday.

Vice President Harris previously denounced the legislation, calling it “absolutely unconscionable” after it passed its first hurdle in the state.

“The Louisiana House just passed a bill that would make possession of a drug abortion a crime, with penalties of up to several years in prison,” she wrote in a message. message on X. “Let's be clear: Donald Trump did this.”

Several states have enacted stricter laws regarding abortions since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in 2022, including Arizona, where officials enacted a near-total abortion ban that was repealed shortly after its repeal.

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